In an effort to further help students explore and make informed decisions on intended career paths, Botswana Human Resource Development Council has introduced career clinics in the annual career fair. The fair has since been restructured and renamed from Botswana Tertiary Education Fair to Botswana Human Resource Development Skills Fair and Career Clinics. HRDC acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Patrick Molutsi said this is in line with their main objective of turning around Botswana’s education and training system from that of a supply-led into a demand driven system. Dr Molutsi said this will help inform students on which programmes are marketable in Botswana.
According to HRDC officials, the former career fair had not been addressing the issue much as it did not give students more information on such issues. HRDC Student Planning and Welfare Manager Marianyana Selelo said it has been revealed that over the past six years a significant number of form 5 leavers attended Botswana tertiary Education Fair with the sole aim of applying for admissions into tertiary education institutions. “It is in the view of transforming and expanding HRDC mandate that the career guidance clinics were introduced to augment the fair,” said Selelo. She further explained that the career clinics will more interactive as career guidance will be offered on a one-on-one basis to eliminate making hasty and uninformed academic programme selection and career choice by the students.
In recent years there have been concerns from stakeholders that there is a mismatch of skills in the country hence the growing unemployment rate. Molutsi said it is this that they want to address with the Skills fair and career clinics. He pointed that these bring together all the stakeholders from students to educators making it easy to reach a common understanding to improve the quality of education locally. The career clinics will be driven by HRD sector committees responsible for advising the council on emerging trends and relevant education and training and skills needs. HRDC believes that this will help in addressing a number of issues among them overproduction of skills in Botswana as well as skills mismatch.
The career clinics will be held from 14 – 18 March 2016 while the actually fair will be from the 16 – 19 march 2016. It is expected to bring together tertiary institutions from the country as well as outside the country form as far as Malaysia, America and others.